Despite what you’ve heard from coaches and parents alike, pain does not always lead to gain. In fact, some soreness should be given very close attention, as it could be a signal that something else is going on inside your body, whether a potential disease or a muscle strain that will grow worse with time.
When should you not ignore the sore?
When it’s on your elbow. One of the first symptoms of tennis elbow, a sore elbow that is ignored can lead to excruciating pain down the road. If your elbow feels sore, whether you’ve just finished working out or are just at work doing your normal duties, take note and see a physician. In the event your soreness is the first sign of tennis elbow, catching it early will allow you to get treatment that could mean the difference between a complete recovery and an injury that leaves you in pain for months and even years to come.
When it’s on your shoulder. You demand a lot from your shoulder. Every time you lift, push, or pull something, your shoulder goes into action. If it becomes sore, give it time to rest and recover to prevent the injury from growing worse. Otherwise, it can result in inflammation or other injury, making it difficult to perform easy tasks, such as lifting a cup of water to drink. Thankfully, over-the-counter pain medications, ice, and heat are usually enough to help beat mild shoulder soreness.
When it’s in your stomach. Hopefully you’ll get a little soreness in the old abdominals when you give them a good workout. But if you feel stomach pain that lasts longer than a few days, you should get it checked out. Stomach soreness can indicate a range of conditions from abdominal bleeding and bowel cancer to Crohn’s disease, stomach ulcers, kidney stones, and even heart attack. So if you know sit-ups didn’t cause your stomach pain, a thorough evaluation by your physician may help you catch a dangerous and even deadly disease before it’s too late.
When it’s in any of your joints. Though most joint pain is caused by physical activity performed with poor technique, joint pain can also creep up as a result of infection, arthritis, or other conditions. Joint pain can also be the result of obesity, so obtaining and maintaining a healthy weight will go a long way toward protecting your joint health. In the event you can’t determine the cause of your joint pain and it doesn’t go away within a few days, head to your physician for diagnostic testing to get to the root of your problem.